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Andrew / December 17, 2008 9:57 AM

This question comes from Caitlin, who asks, "How about a question on how we've all been affected by the lack of salting/plowing? I know I've rolled through at least one intersection going only ten miles an hour and attempting to break. I'm wondering whether people are really having a hard go of it, or if it's not as bad as everyone thought it would be, or if people have just changed their habits to adjust. Seems timely as I look at my car get piled upon out my office window..."

Gaigen / December 17, 2008 10:04 AM

HA! I've been plowed more times in the past week than my street. I'm literally afraid to drive because with my not-quite-up-to-snuff tires it's like ice dancing with Tai Babilonia

Spook / December 17, 2008 10:16 AM

In the heart of Logan Square?

Simply the best!

p.s but only in the summer

David / December 17, 2008 10:22 AM

Hyde Park's not in great shape -- even some of the major roads haven't been cleared yet. In general, biking has been a lot harder this year.

R / December 17, 2008 10:29 AM

Saw nothing on my commute home last night, which took twice as long, nor this morning. Daley's not keeping up his part of the bargain--we let him continually bend and reinterpret the law in exchange for having salt trucks out 10 minutes after it starts snowing.

I hope to God we don't get the Olympics--Chicago could never support such an event. It's a joke that we're even trying.

kate / December 17, 2008 10:50 AM

All the side streets around my west Humboldt abode seem to be plowed... and there are chairs, buckets and other crap saving spots that aren't shoveled out. Ahh, tis the season.

J. Holmes / December 17, 2008 10:51 AM

It's plowed pretty good once I'm done with it.

Pedro / December 17, 2008 11:08 AM

My neighborhood (East Village) is pretty good about shoveling their private property. The city does a good job because there is a police station two blocks away. They take care of their own.

annie / December 17, 2008 11:12 AM

I'm on Damen in Ukrainian Village and Damen looks worse than I've ever seen it, Chicago Ave. looks ok. The sidewalks are a mess, but they are no different than any other year, it's all renters on my block so I don't think they feel the need to DIY..I do my stairs for the mailperson and a small patch in the middle, but not the whole thing. My lazy landlord lives down the street and I've never seen him shovel. They don't even buy us salt, we do. That being said, streets have always been the city's obligation, the sidewalks have always been the property owners. There are sections of the city where there are SSAs - or Special Service Area where all the property owners in a designated area pay a special tax over their property tax and many of these SSAs pay for sidewalk snow removal, it's up to the tax payers how they want their money spent, SSA 29 on Chicago Ave. pays for the sidewalk snow removal and I love it.

Carrie / December 17, 2008 4:05 PM

I'm at North and Western and neither of them were plowed on my way home last night. I was amazed. Western, especially-- it's such a major street! The looked better this morning.

I can tell you that I see A LOT of street cleaners in the summer over there. Can't we take the budget for that no-good job and put it towards plowing? Then again, I guess if we eliminated the cleaners, we'd lose out on a lot of ticket money. (has anyone actually seen the street cleaner clean anything? I see them kick dust and garbage onto the curb and that's it)

J / December 17, 2008 4:05 PM

Not sure about the state of the roads since I don't drive much at all. However, there is some sort of mysterious 'Bobcat man' character in my area that seems to get up early and cruise around the sidewalks in a few block radius removing all of the snow using his Bobcat. If I manage to figure out where he lives then he is getting a batch of cookies.

C-Note / December 17, 2008 4:54 PM

Pretty good (West Loop).

Annie - legally, your landlord does not have to shovel snow, unless it says so in your lease. You're operating on a mistaken assumption.

C-Note / December 17, 2008 5:51 PM

Andrew will be angry at me for using this forum as a soapbox, and maybe this is a good topic for a later Fuel query, but to go off-topic and expand on my last post...

Consider this a notice, especially for renters: unless you have an agreement to the contrary, NOBODY HAS ANY LEGAL OBLIGATION TO SHOVEL SNOW FROM THE SIDEWALK, WALKWAYS, STAIRS, ETC. Not your landlord; not anybody. This means that if your landlord doesn't shovel your sidewalk, it is hypocritical to call him lazy, because you're lazy too.

Now that you've got me started, I want to make one more point: I am TIRED of outspoken Obama supporters who are too lazy to shovel their own sidewalks. You know who you are. This country will get nowhere with people who want everybody else to everything for them. If I remember correctly, the message of change was not about passive participation, but about the people representing the change they wanted to see in the world.

You may disagree, but I walk the walk, while some of y'all talkers are looking for somebody to walk for them.

Steven / December 17, 2008 7:39 PM

I'm on Sheridan just north of LSD so it's usually one of the first to be plowed. But being from Michigan and without a car, it doesn't matter much to me. Three words people: boots with treads. Unless the city installs a snow-melt system (Google "downtown Holland sidewalk snow"), you all just have to deal with it.

jen / December 18, 2008 12:34 AM

last night - shitty. today - ok.
last weekend my street was a sheet of ice.

went to the logan square library last night and was going to take the bus home. saw it just south of sacramento & milwaukee and decided to wait. that lasted all of 1.5 minutes as traffic was at a crawl. so i walked up to kimball & milwaukee and the bus never caught up with me.
the streets & san people can use the excuse that the plows can only move as fast as traffic which is true, however, when you don't start plowing & salting until rush hour, it's your fault. it was snowing yesterday when i entered the planetarium at about 1pm, and it had piled up when i left at 4. didn't look like a single plow truck had been out to plow or salt. is that the fault of the speed of traffic?

and as mentioned above, my (side) street was ice last week before the thaw. it snowed, what, tuesday that week? streets & san had wed/thurs/fri to salt side streets but they did not, particularly at intersections where even if you're going 10mph, you can't stop.

i've seen more accidents in the past two weeks than i care to count. granted, some is probably due to asshole drivers but how can you tell when the streets are ice anyway?

Nellie / December 18, 2008 7:22 AM

Nothing brings out the laziness of Chicagoans more than snow.

I went to a holiday party in the vaunted "Ravenswood Manor" neighborhood. The guy having the party was an uber high up partner at a major law firm in the Loop. He hired a crew of people to work the party - a bartender, a doorman, a waiter, etc. There were about 40 guests at the party.

Was his sidewalk and walkway shoveled? Nope.

My opinion of him plummeted to damn near zero because of that.

vise77 / December 18, 2008 8:55 AM

C-Note: There's a city law--don't have the number on me now, but you can look it up--that does contradict your legal advice.

That said, I agree that more people need to shovel. My landlord is an older man--say, 60--who is always out shoveling, and who never lets me help despite my repeated requests to shoulder some of the work.

CC / December 18, 2008 9:35 AM

Here's the ordinance:
10-8-180 Snow and ice removal.
Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground in the city abutting upon any public way or public place shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of such building or lot of ground.
If the sidewalk is of greater width than five feet, it shall not be necessary for such person to remove snow and ice from the same for a space wider than five feet.

In case the snow and ice on the sidewalk shall be frozen so hard that it cannot be removed without injury to the pavement, the person having charge of any building or lot of ground as aforesaid shall, within the specified, cause the sidewalk abutting on the said premises to be strewn with ashes, sand, sawdust or some similar suitable material, and shall, as soon as thereafter as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean said sidewalk.

The snow which falls or accumulates during the day (excepting Sundays) before four p.m. shall be removed within three hours after the same has fallen or accumulated. The snow which falls or accumulates on Sunday or after 4 p.m. and during the night on other days shall be removed before 10 a.m. (Prior code 36-19)

And here's the link:

Gaigen / December 18, 2008 9:49 AM

Two things:

1) CC, thanks for proving C-Note wrong. I knew there was a requirement for landlords to shovel their walks and was about to post it. Thanks.

2)I am TIRED of outspoken Obama supporters who are too lazy to shovel their own sidewalks.

And i hate knee-jerk (emphasis on "jerk"), one-note idiots who try to use their frustration with Obama as a catch-all for everything they don't like. How in the f*ck do you know that everyone who doesn't shovel their own sidewalks is an Obama supporter? Seems to me the type of guy who owns seven houses would also be the type to not shovel his own sidewalk.

Me, I hate those McCain supporters who get into the 10-items-or-less line with a shopping cart full of groceries, becuase, you know, they're the ones who always do that.

flange / December 18, 2008 10:44 AM

i dunno. i don't have a car. but it sucks crossing the street. considering most corners are occupied by large multiunit buildings, can't they shovel all the way to the crosswalk?

annie / December 18, 2008 11:27 AM

C-Note, Take it easy man, sheesh. And never, ever call me lazy! I am the furthest thing from lazy. My landlord IS lazy, he is my age (33) and his only job is to be a property manager of the grey stone I live in that his parents bought him. He has never once fixed anything that has broken, my husband and I do lots of the handy work and all the landscaping and we deduct the materials from our rent..not the labor. and leave Obama supporters out of it!

Andrew / December 18, 2008 11:30 AM

@C-Note: I don't mind soapboxing if it's on-topic.

Not sure how being an Obama supporter has anything to do with not shoveling sidewalks. I didn't realize conservatism had a lock-hold on manual labor.

Caitlin / December 18, 2008 12:04 PM

Just to stay on topic and add my two cents since I was asking: I was curious how much of a difference people have noticed due to the limited snow removal funds. My Andersonville side street is still pretty bad--essentially just frozen slush. Last year I lived in Rogers Park and it was much better, so not sure if it's just the change in venue or the salting/plowing changes.

Probably my biggest winter gripe (aside from the poor salting/plowing) is with the people who have no idea how to drive/bike/walk in these conditions. Just because there's a limited amount of salt on the road doesn't mean you in your big SUV should drive 40 MPH down Ashland, nor does it mean that oblivious pedestrians should just trust whatever cars are coming down the street to brake in time for them. It's scary stuff out there people, so be extra careful!

George Maitland / December 18, 2008 12:16 PM

Things are always great in my neighborhood. There are no whiners here. I'm not telling you where I live.

Gaigen / December 18, 2008 12:55 PM

Things are always great in my neighborhood. There are no whiners here. I'm not telling you where I live.

Too late. Figured it out. Say hi to Lady Elaine Fairchild and that effeminate tiger dude.

jj / December 18, 2008 3:24 PM

@Caitlin - In my opinion, Andersonville is ten times worse this year than it has been in the last three, so its probably not just the change in venue.

Ken / December 18, 2008 6:05 PM

It is absolutely perfect,now that I live in Florida

On the Obama comment / December 19, 2008 8:36 AM

Gaigen, et al...

The last 8 years have been filled with people who have blamed every misfortune and inconvenience on George Bush (and supporters).

"I can't afford my mortgage after the ARM reset - its Bush's fault"

"Bush lied about Iraq" - even though every Dem that matters agreed with him at the time

"Our educational system sucks - its Bush's fault"

Its only fitting that the tables are turned.

What you'll likely find however, is that conservative minded people are quite a bit more mature in their thinking than their liberal or progeressive counterparts and are less interested in "acting out" in order to attract attention (like a child will do when it doesn't know how to articulate its thoughts), so you won't see the same volume of idiocy for the next 4 years.

Keep in mind that Obama didn't win a landslide, and half (and growing) of the population doesn't think he is the "One" that the media, including the editors of GB, have made him out to be.

He didn't do squat for IL when we voted him in for senator, and it'll be interesting if we ever find out what deal he and Emil Jones cooked up in order to get him there.

Gaigen / December 19, 2008 8:45 AM

The last 8 years have been filled with people who have blamed every misfortune and inconvenience on George Bush (and supporters).

Um, maybe because he was the ACTUAL PRESIDENT.

Furthermore, you're argument started off about PEOPLE who support Obama. Now it's about Obama himself and the fact that he escapes blame despite the fact that HE HASN'T EVEN TAKEN OFFICE YET. Why don't you give him, oh, three days before you declare a failed presidency?

What you'll likely find however, is that conservative minded people are quite a bit more mature in their thinking than their liberal or progeressive counterparts

No, what we're finding here is that you argue like a kid: bring in an unrelated topic to a discussion on another subject, then change the argument completely in midstream when you're proven wrong.

Now about that street plowing: I saw a plow going down my street (Bryn Mawr) this morning but it wasn't dropping any salt. It was still snowing so this was pretty much wasted gas.

On the Obama comment / December 19, 2008 9:18 AM

Thank you for providing such support for my point:

"Um, maybe because he was the ACTUAL PRESIDENT."

One man does not control the complex system that is called reality. Immature minds think otherwise.

As for Obama's presidential performance, who knows? I don't have any information from his previous endeavors that would lend any credence to viewing him as an effective executive. I'm only saying that as an IL senator he was a failure. Can anyone name something he accomplished for the people of IL?

Dunl / December 19, 2008 11:19 AM

What is this plowed of which you speak?

Gaigen / December 19, 2008 11:33 AM

One man does not control the complex system that is called reality. Immature minds think otherwise.

OK, got it. You're 19 and just read your first issue of the Natinonal Review. cute.

On the Obama comment / December 19, 2008 11:55 AM


Stop acting out. Its childish

Gaigen / December 19, 2008 1:07 PM

Read a book. It's the adult thing to do.

superman / December 19, 2008 2:40 PM

Nobody plows where I live.
Then again I live...
On the other hand, I just can't seem to get women to visit my ice fortress.

Heather / December 19, 2008 3:18 PM

Portage Park is lucky to see any salting or plows on Irving Park. If the season continues like this, heavy snow etc, the city is headed for disaster. Makes me wonder where my ever increasing property taxes are going.

Baldeesh / December 19, 2008 4:38 PM

I live in Logan Square - saw plows on my side street last night and this morning. I work in Portage Park, and on my way in I saw a couple of cars getting stuck.

My batshit theory is that since Tom Allen was on Chicago Tonight, the 38th ward (where I work) isn't getting as much attention.

Again, my own batshit theory.

C-Note / December 19, 2008 4:49 PM

Gaigen, CC, vise77: I should have been more clear. I am aware that there is a city ordinance requiring snow removal. I am also a pragmatist. Which means, since nobody enforces the ordinance, there is, in fact, no real duty to shovel snow. (Yes, technically, there is. I understand that. But practically, there is nothing there that will make a cop force you to shovel ice so the octogenarian can walk without slipping. It's kind of a 13th Amendment involuntary servitude problem, especially since it isn't technically your property, it's a public way.) You will find this out the hard way if you slip and fall and sue the landowner. I say all this to say: you're not correcting me. Telling me there's an ordinance doesn't change anything, but it does prove my point that the landlord is no more responsible for snow-removal than the tenant is. Unless it says so in the lease.

I don't have a problem with conservatives who don't shovel. They didn't sign on to the Change We Can Believe In platform. But those of us who did have a responsibility to do more than talk about it. And some of us understand that our civic responsibility does not begin and end with voting.

I am not saying that Obama supporters are less likely to shovel. What I am saying is that it's pathetic to agree to be part of a social movement for change but to be too lazy to shovel one's sidewalk.

Please tell me I'm wrong - that it's less than hypocritical to do what I've described - to make a commitment to work for change while lacking the common (less than common these days) decency to help provide a decent walking surface for one's neighbors. I'm looking forward to the argument.

The dude / December 19, 2008 4:59 PM

I'm for non-partisan snow removal.

Gaigen / December 19, 2008 5:05 PM

I am aware that there is a city ordinance requiring snow removal.



I am not saying that Obama supporters are less likely to shovel. What I am saying is that it's pathetic to agree to be part of a social movement for change but to be too lazy to shovel one's sidewalk.

And what I'm saying is that you have provided no proof that anyone here who has said it's the landlord's job to shovel the snow (and in your eyes are lazy) is also an Obama supporter or is "part of a social movement for change". So your argument is pointless. Prove that the people here who believe it is a landlord's job to shovel are also Obama supporters or change-pushers and you might have a point. A thin one, but...

You're making an assumption about people here based on...something. So where are these "outspoken Obama supporters" that you speak of. If they're here, point them out. If not, who are you talking about?

Ralph / December 19, 2008 5:15 PM

I'm having a snowball fight between Obama supporters and non-Obama supporters. Wanna come?

Gaigen / December 19, 2008 5:18 PM

I'm in Ralph. As long as I don't have to shovel afterwards. I'm for change, but not THAT much change...

C-Note / December 19, 2008 5:20 PM

Gaigen: you are making a lot of assumptions that have no basis in fact. 1. That I have no more legal knowledge than yourself. I happen to know, for example, that a law with no teeth and constitutional problems is as good as no law. (Note that the next ordinance, prohibiting the posting of bills, provides for actual fines for non-compliance, while the one you refer to does not. By the way, there are legal duties, and then there are legal duties. Snow-shoveling is of the former category.) 2. That the Obama supporter(s) I was referring to are posting on this page. I never said that, so don't be defensive. I said I was getting on a soapbox, and I was.

Interesting fact #1: I voted for Obama.

Interesting fact #2: you are just killing time (and wasting mine) until you get off work, and you have failed to counter my argument that it is unreasonable to commit to change and simultaneously fail to shovel your sidewalk.

Or are you really arguing the opposite? If not, you're just nit-picking.

Sarah / December 19, 2008 5:30 PM

How do we know Gaigen is not picnicking?

C-Note / December 19, 2008 5:37 PM

Sarah, we don't know. Fact of life in these parts. He's probably picnicking out in Yellowstone with one of those AT&T Wi-Fi things stuck in the side of his fancy computer rig.

C-Note / December 19, 2008 5:39 PM

Or getting "plowed" after work. Arguing over Pabst that we shouldn't shovel our sidewalks, 'cause "Obama's got that."

C-Note / December 19, 2008 5:56 PM

All I'm saying is what I said to the folks on my block last year: "Look, let's shovel the sidewalk. Nobody else is gonna do it, and I know nobody'll make us do it, but it needs to get done. And it doesn't make sense if just one or two of us do it, if there's people that don't do it. It's just so much nicer if we do. I'll worry about the next block later. Especially us that are supporting Obama, and getting so much crap about all this 'hope' stuff. We have to show them that we're ready to work to make it happen. Those of us that aren't, so what? What does politics have to do with it? Let's just make sure the sidewalk gets shoveled when it snows, before it turns into a goddamn sheet of ice. It's crazy that I have to make such a big deal out of something we ought to be doing anyway, we got mothers pushing strollers, old people with canes about to slip and fall... Damn."

Gaigen / December 19, 2008 8:46 PM

Well, C-Note, thank you for confirming: You are officially off your rocker.

1. That I have no more legal knowledge than yourself. I happen to know, for example, that a law with no teeth and constitutional problems is as good as no law.

Who cares about what YOUR interpretation of what the definition of a "law" is. There was only one question here that you yourself raised. You said there was NO law regarding shoveling. Not "for all intents and purposes" there is no law, not there is "virtually" no law. You said "no legal obligation". You were proven wrong. The mature thing would be to say (wait for it): "I was wrong." But since you can't handle that, we gotta assume you're not mature enough.

Second if you expect anyone to believe that cock-and-bull story that you made the speech about equating snow shoveling and Obama to your neighbors... well, what I said earlier about being off your rocker? Apply that here.

And finally,
my argument that it is unreasonable to commit to change and simultaneously fail to shovel your sidewalk.

Well ignoring the basic stupidity of that statement (that shoveling your sidewalk some how represents change instead of, say, commmon courtesy), that belief lends itself to the basic counterlogic that someone who previously shoveled their sidewalks and now commits to change should now NOT shovel their sidewalk. Brilliant.

Look, it's been fun. We've hijacked this board far too long and to everyone else I apologize and promise not to do it again. In closing,

you are just killing time (and wasting mine)

Wow, I missed the part where I twisted your arm to respond. But, you know, there's an easy solution to that...


Dajones / December 19, 2008 9:31 PM

Go Gaigen! Sorry C-Note, but Gaigen just shut you down. And not a moment too soon.

But hey, we all have problems. Mine is those damn Ron Paul supporters who never take down their Christmas Lights.

C-Note / December 20, 2008 12:11 AM

Gaigen - if you had a point, you would have made it by now. Of course, I should have pointed out that there is a city rule, that nobody ever enforces, that nobody has ever dealt with, that's unconstitutional, that most people don't know exists, that's a civil ordinance with no penalty attached; I apologize for not explaining that to you, who didn't know about it anyway.

Of course you've gone ad hominem instead of making an argument, because it's easy.

Where is your argument?

decklap / December 20, 2008 11:19 AM

Im at Irving Park and Austin and both those streets are always well plowed and salted. Side streets in our neighborhood are worse this year so far. I think Alderman Allen might be taking his failed run for Attorney General out on us

jeff Zimmermann / December 20, 2008 1:53 PM

Sidestreets in Logan area still jamed up... I really am looking for a place to pose a different question; has anyone out there mysteriously NOT RECEIVED A NOTICE IN THE MAIL TO RENEW THEIR LICENSE PLATE STICKER? I know a bunch personally and the currency exchange said they've never had so many people come in to buy them from never receiving anything in the mail. We all got tickets. Interesting... the clerk thinks it's a city scam. I think I believe this was done on purpose to get a sudden influx of revenue from tickets. This happen to anyone else?

biff / January 9, 2009 2:02 PM

Happened to me last year. I got two tickets two days in a row. Chicago Police are always very good at generating revenue instead of protecting and serving the first few days of each month.

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